Instead of suggesting a single use for the Liberty Park Library Building, the City’s volunteer steering committee presented a four-part recommendation for the current library building and surrounding City-owned assets.
After nearly eight months of research — including a pair of online surveys and open houses — the Liberty Park Library Steering Committee delivered its recommendation during a 30-minute presentation to the Committee of the Whole in the Renton City Hall Council Chambers Monday night.
The presentation coincided with a public meeting to consider a ballot measure and
title regarding the location of the downtown Renton library. A majority of those in attendance during the Committee of the Whole meeting stuck around for the public meeting, which began shortly after 7 p.m.
“Future decisions could make this group’s work less relevant,” said Higashiyama.
A three person executive team including Gary Barber, Chair; Marvin Rosete, Vice Chair; and Teresa Clymer-Flora, Secretary, presented a background of their work and the recommendation.
The four-part recommendation to Council revolved around a mixed-use building, use of the surrounding area, and directed Council to:
1. Hire a consultant for further investigation of an Environmental Interpretive Center at the Liberty Park Library Building.
2. Hire a consultant to further investigation of an Arts and Culture Center at the Liberty Park Library Building.
3. Support the creation of a civic campus, including Liberty Park Library Building, skate park, Renton History Museum and surrounding area to promote the downtown core as a place for public activities and events.
4. Strive for building renovations and upgrades with LEED certified materials and sustainable construction methods.
The purpose of Monday night’s presentation was for briefing only, Higashiyama said. The Council would later need to decide when an if to move forward with the recommendation and need for funding, which would come from the 2013-2014 City Budget.
A Timeline Provided by The Steering Committee:
- Nov. 2008- Renton Library Master Plan identifies deficiencies in current library facilities and suggested upgrades for both Liberty Park Library building and Highlands Library.
- Feb. 2010 -Voters approved annexation to King County Library System (KCLS).
- March 2010 -KCLS began providing library services to Renton.
- July – Sept. 2010 -Sites reviewed for new Renton libraries.
- June 2011 -Purchase of downtown Renton library site closed.
- July 5, 2011-City of Renton begins accepting applications for the Liberty Park Library Building Steering Committee.
- July 29, 2011 -Application deadline closed.
- Sept. 28, 2011-First meeting of the Liberty Park Library Building Steering Committee, to explore best future public use of the building.
- Oct. 20, 2011 -Second Steering Committee meeting. Committee learned about existing city plans that touch on library building.
- Nov. 4 – 24, 2011 -First online survey available for public feedback about future use of library building.
- Nov. 15, 2011 -First public open house held about future use. Committee members solicited feedback about potential use for library building.
- Nov. 16, 2011 -Third Steering Committee meeting. Committee reviewed results of survey and open house.
- Dec. 8, 2011-Fourth Steering Committee meeting. Committee broke into three sub-groups to research three options: Art and Cultural Center; Environmental Interpretive Center; Third Space / Community Space.
- Jan. 7, 2012 -Sub-groups took Saturday field trips for research.
- Jan. 19, 2012 -Fifth Steering Committee meeting. Work time for sub-groups.
- Jan. 26, 2012 -Sixth Steering Committee meeting. Work time for sub-groups.
- Feb. 9, 2012-Seventh Steering Committee meeting. Sub-groups presented preliminary results of field trips, meetings, and other research.
- Feb. 10 – 21, 2012 -Second online survey to test three options for future use of library.
- Feb. 15, 2012-Second public open house to solicit feedback about three options. Steering Committee members were available to explain post exhibits about each option.
- Feb. 23, 2012 -Eighth Steering Committee meeting.
- March 8, 2012-Ninth Steering Committee meeting.-
- March 22, 2012 -Tenth Steering Committee meeting.
- April 16, 2012-Presentation of Final Report to Committee of the Whole.